The Brave and the Free: Uranus Retrograde

Uranus stationed retrograde this morning. Until January 2, 2018, Uranus will appear to move backwards from the earth, from 28°31’ Aries until it will station direct at 24°34’ Aries. The slower a planet moves, the stronger its symbolism can be felt in our lives.

Themes of courage, assertiveness, action combine with individuality and freedom. Over the next five months, ask yourself what you can do to support your own true individuality, even if it will be uncomfortable for you or others. This time is not about needless shock. But if there’s a genius or rebel inside us that we haven’t been accessing, this time will bring it out. If there are boundaries we need to set or brave ways we need to strike out, our intuition or our outer circumstances will let us know. Be attuned to anger, chaos and fear. They can be a wake-up call to try a new, better way forward. This time is about necessary shock to the status quo if we’ve hidden or compromised a crucial part of ourselves.

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Venus Retrograde 2017

My niece has a security blanket named Frisa (free-sa). Frisa is kind of a tattered mess at this stage. And Elena is a strong and tough little warrior, so she doesn't need Frisa at all times anymore. But she still reaches for Frisa when she's tired, scared, or hurt. She likes to know that Frisa is relatively close by, ready to help in any Comfort Emergency.

As I was thinking about this Venus retrograde period, I was imagining what it might be like for Elena to see Frisa moving slowly backwards from her, seemingly farther and farther out of reach….

Retrograde periods are when a planet appears to move backwards from the earth. Our natural ways of "doing" that planet will typically not work during retrograde periods. We're called to be more reflective and try a new way. Circumstances will inevitably test our openness and flexibility. We hear a lot about Mercury retrograde, maybe because Mercury rules communication, so it's the planet whose retrograde periods we're most likely to notice and discuss. But the other planets give us the same opportunities. And right now, Venus is retrograde. We're all feeling pretty unsettled, and it's a big deal. Not to take anything away from Mercury, but what's a missed flight compared to discontentment in our relationships and a lack of inner peace???

For all of us right now, there's a sinking, terrifying feeling that Frisa has left the building.

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Aries New Moon

The Aries New Moon invites us both into total darkness and fire for a moment. In the hours before, we can reflect on what we are ready to leave behind for the benefit of our own survival. And we can look forward. What have we forged within that can now help ourselves and others? What new habits, emotions and ways of loving and relating can we brave in mystery until they are fully realized? Is there an Aries message in our being and the way we nurture that can be strengthened or adjusted? Are we called to be the pioneer, the warrior, a benevolent leader, or something more precious, delicate and new? Take a moment to imagine how a healthy ego looks to you: Can you incorporate more reflection, kindness, and imagination into your being at this moment? Can you integrate the balance and support of the universe with the boldness, courage and fire within you? Maybe you already have! Can you now come forward to inspire others?

Both the new moon and Aries carry the energies of possibility yet vulnerability. It's not easy to be first. It's not easy to advance in darkness.

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On Turning 40

For my birthday, my husband and son made me Amy: The Game. It’s a mock board game, with memories filling the spaces around the board and kind or funny words about me filling the playing cards. Some of my favorites are “You are light in the darkness” (written by my dear and tender son, Lyndon) and “You always know where to put the furniture” (by my dear and wisecracking husband, Lang). Truly, it floored me.

This was a big one: 40. The two years leading up to it were humility- and faith-building, which I didn’t find so easy or comfortable. But one reading in particular helped me, and today I want to share it:

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

I think I’ve always understood from this reading that life can be hard. But in the last two years I’ve taken it a little less about discipline and a little more about compassion and discernment: At this particular moment, am I on the road or at the gate? How about the people I love? And what about the people I find hard to tolerate each day?

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